Inter Miami striker Gonzalo Higuain has reflected on his time at Real Madrid and admitted that the increased competition at the club caused him to question what more they expected from him.
The 33-year-old joined Los Blancos in 2007 and was joined by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, with Karim Benzema and Kaka also joining that same summer, although he thought the latter two arrived in 2010.
“With Benzema it was a very healthy competition, but we had to do our best. The year Cristiano arrived, he scored 27 goals and I scored 26,” Higuain said in an interview with ESPN Futbol 360, although it was the Argentine who actually scored 27 goals in LaLiga Santander to the Portuguese’s 26.
“The next transfer window they brought in Kaka and Benzema. That’s when I said ‘how many goals do I have to score?’
“Karim came in and he brought out the best version of me and I brought out the best version of him. He’s a tremendous No.9.”
After being signed by Real Madrid as an 18-year-old, Higuain did not expect to go straight into the club’s first team.
“I wasn’t going to go to the first team of Real Madrid. They bought me and they were going to keep me at Castilla. There was the possibility of going on loan as well,” Higuain revealed.
“My dad told me on the plane: ‘The only thing I’m going to ask you is not to be afraid. Never be afraid, but be respectful…’ and that phrase stayed with me.
“When I arrived, I trained with the first team and in the second training session [Fabio] Capello told me ‘You’re staying with us’.
“Three or four days later I made my debut as a starter in the Copa del Rey. I ended up playing on the right wing.”
Higuain currently plays for Inter Miami, who have been strongly linked with a move for Lionel Messi for the final part of his career, but the striker does not expect to play alongside his compatriot if he ends up joining.
“Don’t get me into trouble… I have no idea about Leo joining Miami,” Higuain noted.
“I have one year left on my contract and I think Leo signed for two or three years in Paris, I don’t think we’ll overlap.
“The club want him, let’s see. After that year I’ll take a sabbatical, away from football and everything.”